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Illinois has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, and much of its gun violence is due to guns trafficked in from neighboring states with weak laws.

Recently, Illinois has taken critical action to invest in community violence intervention programs, close gaps in its firearm relinquishment laws, strengthen background check processes, regulate the ghost gun industry, and comprehensively restrict uniquely dangerous weapons like large-capacity magazines and assault weapons. In 2020, Illinois had the 27th highest gun death rate in the country and tenth-lowest gun export rate. To further strengthen gun safety laws, state lawmakers should pass legislation to promote gun violence victims’ access to justice in the courts, direct state law enforcement to retain a searchable repository of firearm sale records, strengthen implementation of firearm relinquishment programs, and strengthen firearm access restrictions for people convicted of violent misdemeanors.

What Illinois Does Well

  • Universal background checks
  • Gun owner licensing
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Domestic violence gun laws
  • Community violence intervention funding
  • Minimum age laws
  • Waiting periods
  • Open carry regulations
  • Lost & stolen firearm reporting
  • Ghost gun regulations
  • Assault weapon restrictions
  • Large capacity magazine ban
  • Regulating gun dealers

What Illinois Is Missing

  • Central searchable law enforcement repository of firearm sale records
  • Gun violence victims’ access to justice and firearm industry accountability law
  • Firearm access restrictions for people convicted of most violent misdemeanors
  • Bulk firearm purchase restrictions
  • Stronger local authority to regulate firearms
  • Stronger child access prevention or safe storage laws



The data is clear: states with stronger gun laws have less gun violence. See how your state compares in our annual ranking.

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We’re in this together. To build a safer America—one where children and parents in every neighborhood can learn, play, work, and worship without fear of gun violence—we need you standing beside us in this fight.